In an understanding of time, and an effort to save time, I’m counting this post for both the 30 Days of Druidry and the Pagan Blog Project!
There are so many different ways to define the elements and most of it depends on what traditions you follow. Wiccans are often heavily involved with the elements, using them to define their working circles as well as invoking them in their work. Other traditional witches that I’ve known use the associations and energies of the elements in their working.
In some revivalist druid practices, the elements are called into the sacred space. In other druid circles the traditional witch/wiccan elements are not called.
I do use the elements in my magical workings, however I no longer create solid circles as I used to do when I was a Wiccan. Now I define a sacred space and invite the appropriate energies and beings into the space. Sometimes that includes elemental energies or beings.
I recognize five elements: air, fire, water, earth, spirit. Each of the elements have their own areas of focus, but there is some overlap. For instance, all elements are necessary for life, so they can all be used in healing or life-affirming spells and rituals.
Air is about the breath, communication and intellect. This is the element that most affects learning and study, it’s also the best element to use for ensuring that you are clearly communicating and are actively listening. Air can breathe life into the dying, or waft a gentle breeze to spread the life-giving pollen of plants. Air can also destroy with the strength of storms and tornadoes.
Fire is my favorite (Leo that I am) and is both destructive and creative. Think of a fire through a forest, it clears out the smaller plants and scorches the earth, but it also causes some plants to spread their seeds, and other seeds to begin to sprout into plants. Fire is also about our own internal desire, drive and our creative spirit.
Water is generally tied to the emotions, and it’s also tied to healing. Water can wash away the negative emotions and help us to heal. We can suspend ourselves in water and just be, just experience our spiritual being as it is. It is forgiving, and loving, and nurturing. We nestled in water in our mother’s womb and it reminds us of safety. But water can also be destructive, rivers cut into rock through time, floods can quickly destroy towns and land, emotions that can drown us with negativity.
Earth is our grounding, stabilizing energy. It is the stuff that forms our bodies, that forms the basis of our Earth, the building blocks of life. Earth is comforting, healing, building and nurturing. Earth is also smothering and crushing in avalanches and mud/rock slides.
The fifth element that I recognize is Spirit, some call it Awen, others have different names for it. Spirit is our connection to deity, it is that divine energy that supports us through life. It is our soul. Spirit empowers us, connects us to each other, and allows us to recognize the divine in all things. Too much spirit is also a bad thing, causing us to be disconnected from each other and from our own lives.
As you can see, each of the elements have positive and negative sides to them. As with most things, it’s about balance. Too much of any of the energies can cause negative effects, as can too little.
Take time and notice which energies are in your life, and which energies you would like more of in your life.